The Rabbinical Committee of Transportation published an ad Tuesday in official haredi newspapers ranking airlines operating flights from Israel to the United States and Europe in terms of the films screened on the planes.
Under the title "There is another way", the committee rabbis – operating under the authority of the greatest sages of Israel, including Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, Hasidic leaders, as well as Shas' spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, whose son Yitzhak Yosef is a member of the committee – stated that "the film problem constitutes a dreadful spiritual danger."
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The airlines ranked as a top priority, according to the committee, are those which do not offer any films on their flights.
The airlines ranked as a second priority are those which offer private screens which can be turned off. However, since the neighbors' screen can still be seen from the passenger seat, the rabbis recommend taking along a "foldable curtain" supplied to the passengers by "the support for filmless flights".
The airlines ranked as a third priority are those which offer private screens on their planes, which in the peak hours are joined by planes with collective screens and in addition, the ad states, "the films screened there are particularly heinous and ugly."
The airlines which won the privilege of being included in the modest category are mainly eastern European companies such as Aerosvit, which provides flight services to Ukraine and later on to the rest of Europe, Malev, which flies to Hungary, and Brussels Airlines, which provides flights to Belgium.
As for flights to the US, British Airways and Continental Airlines were ranked as a second priority, and Swiss International Air Lines was rated second in flights to Europe.
What about Israeli airlines?
The Israeli airlines did not win much praise in the haredi committee's ranking. El Al was included in the third category in flights to the US and London, while Israir and Arkia did not even make it to the list of "permitted" airlines.
According to the rabbis, Israir and Arkia "severely breach the fences of modesty and desecrate the Shabbat and one must not travel with them at all."